In a previous post, I said that we would be developing a new purchase-order tracking system in Excel 2007. I started by interviewing the customers. I sat down with Inbal, our â€œaccounting department,â€ and this is what she said …
â€œToday, we have a licenses management solution [Nick named Hendrix]. Every purchase is entered into Hendrix, and the customer then receives an automated e-mail from Hendrix with his payment code and download and activation instructions.”
â€œWhen a purchase order arrives, it is entered into the system, so that a license will be issued to the customer. I also manage an Excel sheet with a list of POs to track.â€
Here is a sample of the Excel sheet that Inbal uses:
â€œPurchase orders are not paid immediately; they usually have net or net+30 payment terms. itâ€™s my job to see that all the payment orders are eventually paid,â€ Inbal added.
â€œSo, every week, I single out the POs that have not been paid, and according to how late the payment is, I either send an e-mail or mail, or I call the customer. When a purchase order is paid, I update the tracking sheet to reflect that, this way I know not to bother the customer.â€
I then asked her what she would like to the tracking system to do.
â€œI need to be able to define contact details for both customer and end user,â€ Inbal said. â€œThis is because sometimes (especially with POs), the customerâ€™s accounting department is ordering the software for their users. So I need to send the download and activation instructions to the user and work with the accounting department on payment issues. In any case, the customer has to be notified about the delivery of the software as well as the user.
â€œI want to be able to define the due date for each PO (net, net+30, etc.).”
â€œI want to get a weekly report of all the purchase orders that should have already been paid. If possible, I want to get it by e-mail.”
â€œWhen closing an order, I need a place to enter the payment date and some sort of transaction ID (check number, bank transfer ID, etc.).â€
And that was it.
If you have any ideas on how to make this system better, please, pretty please … add them as a comment to this post.
The company I work for, Cogniview, offers customers various ways to purchase its products. A customer can use PayPal to purchase online, send a fax order, or send a purchase order by fax or e-mail.
We have had an unusual amount of purchase orders lately. Everybody is happy when a PO comes in, but our accounting department started complaining that tracking those purchase orders is becoming difficult.
We had a meeting in which we agreed that some sort of purchase tracking system should be created. I persuaded everyone that it would take a tenth of the time to write it in Excel 2007 then in C++ (the language of choice for our programmers). So I have been awarded the pleasure of writing it myself.
In the coming week or so, I will share with you the process of designing this system and implementing it–successfully, I hope.
I will also make the Excel application available to anyone whoâ€™s interested.